Jesse Williams, 2011 WC, photo by PhotoRun.net
BLOCK TWO YEARS BAN
KYIV (UKR): Former 100 m World Champion Zhanna Block was given a 2 years ban for breaking anti-doping rules in years 2002-2003. IAAF reported about the case to Ukrainian Athletics Federation and Block travelled to the country (she lives in USA since 2001) to have a hearing in October. Subsquently Ukrainian Athletics Federation decided with having the evidence in the case to hand out a two years ban on December 15. The ban will start on the date of the hearing, that is October 6, 2011. Block won three world titles in her career, 2001 in Edmonton at 100 m, 1997 in Athens at 200 m and 2003 in Birmingham indoors at 60 m. Her last competition is dating back to 2006. Ukrainian Federation also banned middle distance runner Svitlana Chervan (30) for possession of banned drugs. In November 2010 in the truck on the border of Switzerland customs officers found banned drug Genotropin with facilities for the use of prohibited methods. In a written explanation for the IAAF Chervan admitted her guilt and refused to have a hearing.
GREEN FOR BRUSSELS, CHICHEROVA TO BEGIN EARLY
ANTVERP (BEL): Another top name for the Golden High Jump Gala in Antverp is Sweden´s world medalist Emma Green Tregaro along with her younger team-mate Ebba Jungmark. This is the come back meet of Tia Hellebaut and also contracted to jump is World Champion Anna Chicherova of Russia. Interestingly Chicherova will open her season already on January 9 in Chelyabinsk at Lukashevich Memorial.
ARMSTRONG TOP AWARDS
OTTAWA (CAN): Athletics Canada announced its 2011 annual award winners with Dylan Armstrong getting the nod in three categories. Armstrong was chosen as overall athlete of the year, as most outstanding athlete in field events, and, as winner of the outstanding performance of the year. The winners are chosen by Athletics Canada's Awards Committee from the nominee pool put forward by the athletics community. The award recipients will be honoured at the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Trials in Calgary, Alta., which take place June 27-30. Christian Brennan is the recipient of both the Phil A. Edwards Memorial Trophy for the outstanding athlete of the year in track events and the Myrtle Cook Trophy for the outstanding youth athlete of the year. Brennan represented Canada in fine fashion on two occasions this season; at the World Youth Championships and Pan American Games. Four-time 2011 Canadian Champion Reid Coolsaet of Hamilton, Ont., is the winner of the Fred Begley Memorial Trophy for outstanding athlete of the year in off-track events. On top of being crowned Canadian champion in the 5000-metres and 10 000-metres at the Canadian Track and Field Championships, Coolsaet finished first at both the 10km road race and half-marathon Canadian Championships. Reid also ran a personal best and Olympic A standard time of 2:10:55 at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Dr. Anatoliy Bondarchuk is the recipient of Athletics Canada's Coach of the Year Award.
WILLIAMS AND CANTWELL FOR US OPEN
NEW YORK (USA): High jump world champion Jesse Williams will compete in his first meet of the indoor season in USA. He will be the star of US Open in Madison Square Garden on January 28. Double world indoor champion Christian Cantwell will be the star of high jump. Already earlier announced are Bernard Lagat, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Asafa Powell, David Oliver and Jenn Suhr. Also competing Adam Nelson and Ryan Whiting in the Garden circle. Informs USATF.
ZURICH (SUI): Swiss 4x100 m record 38.62 from Weltklasse Samsung Diamond League meet will not be approved by the national federation. The reason is that Pascal Mancini, who was the first runner of the team, did not the necessary IAAF approved exemption for using Ritalin. Mancini was thinking that the exemption from Swiss Anti-Doping office would be sufficient. Swiss media are informing.
VIENNA (AUT): Austrian marathon runner Susanne Pumper (41) is again facing a doping problem. Austrian media are informing. She was already banned for two years 2008-2010 (March). She won early October Bregenz Marathon in 2:38:24. In case of confirmation she will face a life ban.
OSAKA (JPN): Brett Larner informs that top clash of the 2012 Osaka International Women's Marathon will be the Japanese Mizuki Noguchi vs. Kayoko Fukushi. Also running Romanian olympic winner Constantina Dita. Other Japanese top runners will be Azusa Nojiri and Risa Shigetomo. The Japanese federation, has not announced clear-cut selection criteria for the London Olympics marathon team. Given the slow 2:26:32 winning time at the first selection race, last month's Yokohama International Women's Marathon, it's possible that both Noguchi and Fukushi could be chosen on the strength of their Osaka performances, but it would likely take each of them pushing the other to the fastest Japanese women's time since Noguchi's '07 Tokyo International record for that to happen. From International runners to mention also Russian Lidiya Grigoryeva, Romanian Mihaela Botezan and Ukrainian Tetyana Gamera-Shmyrko. Top pacemakers will be Hungarian Aniko Kalovics, Kenyan Julia Mumbi and home runners Chizuru Ideta and Kumi Ogura.
KARLSRUHE (GER): German European indoor champion 2009 Ariane Friedrich is back in good training and will compete indoors. It is expected she will be jump at best German special event in Arnstadt on February 4 and now she also confirmed for Karlsruhe on February 12 (IAAF Indoor Permit). In 2009 at this meet she cleared her indoor best of 205 cm after great clash with Blanka Vlasic (also 205). She finished unbeaten that indoor season. After heavy injury she had one year ago a major surgery and missed whole 2011. Already earlier confirmed for Karlsruhe are other German stars David Storl, Martina Strutz and Silke Spiegelburg.
INDIANAPOLIS (USA): USATF informs about the US Team for Edinburgh CC race on January 7. Bobby Mack is the sole returning athlete after finishing sixth last year to finish as the second American en route to the team's silver medal. Mack will be joined by team captain Bobby Curtis who ran the second fastest 10,000m time by an American in 2011 with his 27:24.67 effort at the Stanford Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational. Mack and Curtis will be joined by recent USATF National Club Cross Country Champion Jon Grey and Aaron Braun who finished as the runner-up in the same race. Neely Spence will lead the senior women's team after finishing as the runner-up at the recent USATF Club Cross Country Championships.
VIENNA (AUT): Middle distance runner Andreas Vojta and hurder Beate Schrott are Austrian Athletes of the Year. In the poll which was a mixture of internet voting by public and another vote by experts. They will recieve the Trophy "Golden Emil" in February. The best young athlete in the country is European junior discus champion Lukas Weisshaidinger. Vojta defended his win from last year ahead of decathlete Dominik Distelberger and marathon runner Gunther Weidlinger. In women ranking second marathon and mountain runner Andrea Mayr and third ultra runner Sabine Hofer.
AUCKLAND (NZL): Exhaustion has forced Jacko Gill out of the Millennium Shot Put competition. NZ media are informing. The final meet is being held on the North Shore on Thursday evening. The 17-year-old Takapuna athlete says his efforts over the past two weeks including qualifying for the London Olympic Games, breaking his own World Youth record and becoming the 2nd best ever junior in the world have taken quite a physical and mental toll on him.
LONDON (GBR): The British Olympic Association (BOA) has announced Mo Farah as Athletics' 2011 Olympic Athlete of the Year. The award was introduced in 2005, to mark the BOA's Centenary Year and the success of London being awarded the 2012 Olympic Games. The BOA presented a trophy to each of the 33 summer and winter Olympic sports for them to award on an annual basis to their top performing athlete of the year. Farah has also been shortlisted in BBC's Sports Personality of the Year where the results will be known on Thursday.
CHICAGO (USA): NFL fans will remember Willie Gault as the fleet receiver who was the second Chicago Bear to step up and sing solo in the team's famous rendition of "The Super Bowl Shuffle" during their championship season of 1985. In athletics he was 110 m hurdles world medalist and 4x100 m world champion 1983. Now, the Securities and Exchange Commission is accusing him of shuffling the deck in an allegedly corrupt business venture. The SEC website says the following about Gault's actions as CEO of Heart Tronics, which sells a heart-monitoring device called the Fidelity 100. Local media are informing.
OSTRAVA (CZE): By the end of 2013 the city of Ostrava will invest ten million euro into new tribunes of the stadium and in April 2014 new infrastructure for eight million euro will be finished. Long term experiences with every day practise of athletics as well as big international events are projected into all adjustments. "Renovation of the Municipal Stadium Ostrava -Vítkovice will begin immediately after 51st IAAF World Challenge Meeting Ostrava Golden Spike. In the first stage new tribune and all new surfaces will be built. All the background and electricity network will also be renovated. In April 2014 the stadium shall be finished including its surroundings, administration buildings and entrance areas," said the City of Ostrava Vice-Mayor Martin Štěpánek, member of European Team Championships 2014 bidding committee. The European Investment Bank and the Czech Ministry of Education and Sports will participate on funding of the project apart from the City of Ostrava.
CASTELBUONO (ITA): Italy's oldest elite road race, the Giro Podistico di Castelbuono in Sicily, has earned the IAAF Gold Label, organizers announced earlier this week. The race, which will celebrate it's 100th anniversary next year, is now a certified 10-K. The new distance was first used in 2011, replacing the approximately 11-kilometer distance which had been traditionally used. Also, the race will be moved to September for the first time from its usual July 26, date to avoid conflicting with the Olympic Games. Boston and New York City Marathon champion Geoffrey Mutai was the 2011 champion, establishing a course record of 29:05. Informs RRW.
NEW YORK (USA): Race Results Weekly informs that the depth of performances by Kenyan men at the marathon distance in 2011 was simply staggering, according to an analysis by statistician Ken Young of the Association of Road Racing Statisticians. A compilation of marathon results through mid-December, showed that Kenyan men ran 2:20:00 or faster 719 times this year. That total was achieved by 474 different athletes, who amassed 135 victories and 319 podium finishes. Moreover, Kenyan men were victorious at all six World Marathon Majors events held this year (Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, New York and the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea), and recorded victories at other important marathons in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Chunchon, Dubai, Eindhoven, Frankfurt, Fukuoka, Otsu, Paris, Prague, Rotterdam, Valencia, and Xiamen amongst others. At the top of the list, Kenyan men broke 2:06:00 15 times (11 performers), 2:07:00 31 times (24 performers), and 2:08:00 47 times (37 performers). By contrast, men from Ethiopia, Kenya's traditional distance running rivals, broke 2:06 just once, 2:07:00 3 times, and 2:08:00 9 times. Within the top-50 times in the world this year (2:07:28), men from Kenya achieved all of them but nine. Only one North American (Ryan Hall, 2:04:58), and one South American (Marilson Gomes Dos Santos, 2:06:34) made the top-50 performances. The fastest European of 2011, Ukraine's Oleksandr Sitkovskyy, clocked 2:09:26, a time surpassed by 70 Kenyans. Lesser-known Luka Kipkemboi Chelimo also achieved a noteworthy feat. Chelimo, 34, broke 2:20 more than any other Kenyan this year, achieving the feat seven times. He also won four marathons: Donying, China (2:13:37); Montreal, Canada (2:13:45); Chongquing, China (2:16:27); and Perth, Australia (2:17:03).
SAO PAULO (KEN): Organizers of Corrida Internacional de São Silvestre on December 31 confirmed that top home runner Marilson Gomes dos Santos will compete and trying for fourth win at the event. From top Kenyans confirmed are Matthew Kisorio, top marathon runners Martin Lel and Duncan Kibet. The race will start for men at 5.30 pm local time.
ZHUHAI (CHN, Dec 18): Additional results from half marathon here in China from Tilastopaja. El Hassan Elabbasi of Morocco won in 1:01:38 ahead of US Mohamed Trafeh 1:01:39 and Kenyan Stanley Biwott 1:01:39. In women race Gladys Cherono achieved 1:10:43 beating Tadelech Bekele 1:11:44 and former World champion Catherine Ndereba 1:11:59.
MOODBIDRI (IND, Dec 21): Solid half marathon meet record at the 72nd All India Inter-University Athletics Championships. Suresh Kumar clocked 1:03:58.
DOHA (QAT): The 3:34.43 of Qatari Hamza Driouch is not official Asian Junior record informs Heinrich Hubbeling. The official mark belongs to Bilal Mansour Ali from Bahrain 3:31.49 in 2007 although his age was retroactively not confirmed